Book Review: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: and Other Stories by Carson McCullers

From Amazon.com:

A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers’s best stories, including her beloved novella “The Ballad of the Sad Café.” A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose café serves as the town’s gathering place. Among other fine works, the collection also includes “Wunderkind,” McCullers’s first published story written when she was only seventeen about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist. Newly reset and available for the first time in a handsome trade paperback edition, The Ballad of the Sad Café is a brilliant study of love and longing from one of the South’s finest writers.

There’s something about these stories that makes you empathise with the human condition; we are who we are when we can help it, when there’s nothing else to be but ourselves.

We are who we are because someone has to be.

The characters that inhabit these little stories are what one would define as misfits, rebels. But that’s the magic of stories: we realize that we are all made of the same stuff. We are all human. We are all the same. Different, but the same. At the same time. The paradox of human nature.

What I am trying to say is that these misfits feel the same emotions as we do, and they teach us so much about ourselves, our own fights and defeats, and also make us realize that oftentimes what sets us apart must also make us feel lonely/live a life of solitude.

A must-read, The Ballad of the Sad Café contains stories about other people, stories about the kind of people that we might never encounter in real life, but those stories teach us so much about ourselves.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: and Other Stories by Carson McCullers

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